Today marks 6 whole years since that deliriously exciting day (well, for me at least!) in 2008 when we finally got married. Do you remember the madness of the wedding? I bet you don’t. I do, it’s fresh in my mind, like it was only just the other day. There were way too many people for my liking, I was upset I didn’t get to taste all the food, I didn’t like changing my clothes so many times, and I really just wanted to fast forward to the bit where we partied. Discounting small glitches like extended family threatening to call the cops on us, and imperfections like the godawful off-season storm that raged outside, I’d say it was pretty darn perfect. I want to say its beginning to feel like the age is creeping up on us slowly, but it’d be a lie. The truth is I have to some times remind myself that it’s been six years. I’ve said it before, but at times it feels a little unreal, and I wonder if we’re not doing something right, and why we don’t feel it when we really ought to. It’s only when I count back the years and think about everything that’s gone by that I realise the enormity of 365 x 6 days. I still feel like quite the baby who only just got married.
If I were to compare the last few years with the one just gone by, I realise its been the most peaceful, and in that sense, uneventful one. A placid year that zipped by without too much upheaval. Work has gathered enough momentum to just go on without us rushing after it, life has settled into a happy routine. We didn’t travel together at all, did no really big life-changing things and mostly just stayed put bumbling along with our heads down. It’s given us the time and repose to think talk about the next 5-6 years and what we want from it. The floundering of the first few years of getting to know each other, ironing out the unreal expectations has made way for a pleasant calm and comfort in our relationship. We’ve found our feet in some sense. We have never had as many conversations as we did about the way want to steer our lives, about how much we’re willing to let go of, to continue to choose the life we do. And we have never been so clear about our openness to want to change things around every time they get too comfortable.
This year, we’ve each grown remarkably as individuals, more than we have as a couple. And I see it in the amount of time we have comfortably spent apart, whether it was in the many trips we made separately or the amount you worked, or in the lives we have made for ourselves outside of each other. We’ve inculcated personal hobbies, nurtured friendships separately and we’ve been happy to let go, give each other that much needed space, miss each other just enough and even spend time together, in silence.
A quiet year has unintentionally helped in steadying us in so many ways. And I know this because, as we fine-tune our individual personalities, this has been the year with the most confrontation, questions and disagreements — and yet somehow it has been the year with the fewest fights. I can only think of one occasion this (and it happened only just last week) when I wanted to walk out in a storm and get a breather by myself because we were driving each other stark raving mad. Sure, we don’t get it right all of the time, but this past year, you have reminded me time and again why I chose you, and why this works.
It works because it’s effortless. And it works because we’re constantly keeping it real. I realise that all we ever want as people is to be understood, to be understood by that one person with whom things are effortless, and things make sense. Even in all their maddening glory. You remind me, without mincing words — to cut it out. That I don’t have to try so hard. That I don’t have to fight, prove a point, or pretend to be someone I am not. You take me, as I am. And I know you wouldn’t have it any other way. And somehow I think I have learned a thing or two from it all. To live and let live. To choose well. To communicate freely. To apologise when I must. To laugh when the moment asks for it. To cry if I must. To just be me, effortlessly, because things are really only as complicated as we want to make them.
We don’t get it right all of the time. And this life we have, it isn’t perfect. But what is it, is real. I’ve learned that we can be so hopelessly, irrevocably in love with each other, and yet have the ability to be unimaginably pissed off at each other. That’s a very real possibility. And when that happens, like it did last week, you are most likely to drive me insanely angry with your asinine logic, your steadfast stubbornness and your incredibly stupid argument — and I am most likely to push you away when you’re trying to ease the heat of the moment, with an ill-timed hug. I can tell you off and know you will take it. I love that you’re the only person who really tells me when something I did was wrong, without sugarcoating it. I can always count on you to remind me never to settle for something that’s not worth it, and that it is never too late to be the person I want to be.
In conversation last week, I got wondering about what keeps the happy couples I know, the ones that have been married for aeons, make it look so young and fresh. And I have to be honest, I can’t pin point it. I don’t know how they make it work. But I know how we make it work. We’re still poles apart. We don’t always agree, and we don’t always want the same things — but we’ve been horribly honest about it and I know I speak for us both when I say this happened because, it is this year, more than ever before, that we have been incredibly comfortable in our own skins.
It’s been a year of consistently, quietly choosing life over stuff. Of constantly choosing well and fighting the Tyranny of Trend. Of being the best partners we could have, for each other. Of unabashed, young love. Of finding this inexplicable comfort that I feel with you now. Of filling-out and growing as individuals, and seeing how it translates quietly into our lives as a couple. Your confidence compensates when I feel a lack of it. Your stability adds weight when I feel like I’m going to float away. Your brevity gives me the peace I need, when I am done chattering away as I always do. Your quiet contemplation has taught me too, to slow down and be still. Some more.
Happy Anniversary, VC.
I love you so, so very much.